1956 War

Also known as the Sinai Campaign and the Suez Crisis. A brief military campaign in October and November of 1956, during which Israel, France and Britain colluded in an attack on Egypt. Israel was determined to punish Egypt for raids against its communities from the Gaza Strip, while France and Britain were responding to Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal, which had been operated and owned by a private Anglo-French company. As arranged by the three countries beforehand, Israel entered the Sinai Peninsula on October 29, 1956 and swiftly conquered it, reaching the Suez Canal itself. This was followed by British air raids of military targets near Cairo and the Suez Canal on October 31, and a British and French paratrooper drop just north of the Suez Canal on November 5. On November 6, Britain and France agreed to a United Nations (UN) sponsored cease-fire demanded by the United States and the three countries were forced to withdraw entirely following enormous pressure from the US and Soviet Union. Britain and France withdrew in December 1956 and Israel withdrew in March 1957. The war resulted in a sweeping political success for Nasser and a significant loss of remaining British and French influence in the Arab world. The UN established a peacekeeping presence to protect the passage of Israeli ships through the Straits of Tiran, leading to the growth of Eilat, an Israeli port city on the Red Sea, and trade with the Far East. See "The 1956 Suez War," Al Jazeera English, Feb 29, 2008.

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